The National Liquor Traders Council says it will work with the police service as well the Department of Social Development to root out illegal liquor trade and stem the spread of illegal liquor outlets across the country.
The NLTC has condemned an incident at a tavern in Muldersdrift, west of Johannesburg, over the weekend where two police officers were attacked and their vehicle torched.
Gauteng police investigate an attack on officers in Muldersdrift:
The officers were attending to a complaint at an unlicensed liquor outlet in the Video Informal Settlement.
NLTC Convener, Lucky Ntimane, says they have engaged with Police Minister Bheki Cele to express support for the mandate of the police service.
“In my conversation with the Minister yesterday, we are going to look at how do we cut out supply into that illegal market, which only seeks criminality amongst our society. I mean the Minister expressed concern that in Orange Farm for example, there were more than 130 shebeens. You know if you have shebeens like that in such a small area like Orange Farm, obviously the community there is not going to thrive because their focus will be on drinking and drinking and nothing else.
Alcohol is a product best enjoyed in a responsible manner. We have every concern if alcohol is sold in illegal channels and we are going to seek partnership not just with law enforcement officials but also social development because there are other issues that we feel can be addressed just beyond the shebeen element,” Ntimane says.
Western Cape conducts inspections
Meanwhile, the Western Cape Liquor Authority has been hard at work to ensure compliance in the province.
On Sunday, the authority conducted numerous inspections and flagged a Cape Town CBD venue as an immediate public health threat due to non-compliance.
They found a large crowd of people, with no masks or social distancing.
In March, the provincial Health Department raised concern about a possible third wave of infections following this long weekend. The second wave from October to mid-February spread much faster and accounted for most of the province’s deaths or serious illness.
Western Cape Liquor Authority conducts inspections:
The department highlighted super-spreader events.
Western Cape Department of Health HOD, Dr Keith Cloete, says in October, the province saw a spike of infections among people aged 10 and 19.
“On the 3rd of October, we saw a spike in cases of people between the ages of ten and 19 and there was a super spreader event in Claremont at a night club in Claremont. That was the start of what would have been a quite devastating second wave and it’s just a warning sign and a reminder in terms of that,” says Cloete.
The incident at a night club in Claremont resulted in at least 89 COVID-19 infections. Authorities remain on high alert in a bid to ensure that history doesn’t repeat itself.